You can have a fabulous, hassle-free wedding on a tight budget.
|Angie and Chris|
First things first. You've got to have a groom. If you can manage it, set the wedding up so that you get to marry your best friend. It makes everything easier, trust me.
If you have a really, really good friend, you might not even have to ask him to participate. He might just volunteer on his own. That's what my friend Chris did in June of 1999. Boy, was I surprised.
We decided that instead of having a big fancy-pants wedding, we'd rather have a party. A party at which all of the guests would be forced to watch us bat our eyes at each other.
For this kind of party, the top priorities are the Four F's:
The only other thing you need is a place to party. I got lucky on that one. My parents had been looking for an excuse to throw a shindig at their house for a while.
Once you've got a location, put the rest of your money into food and drinks. Don't try to get away with a cash bar. That's tacky.
But . . . what about flowers? What about a cake? What about a DJ?
No one really cares about that stuff. They're just there to cry and eat. That doesn't mean you have to go without, but you don't have to go crazy, either.
I got my bouquet from the Publix florist and my cake from the Publix bakery. Whatever you do, don't go to a "wedding" shop. Anything with the word "wedding" attached is bound to be twice as expensive.
Chris and I meant to write our own vows. That didn’t work out so well.
The day of the wedding, I was cool as a cucumber all day, then suddenly, about 15 minutes before my big entrance, I got nervous. Jelly legs, butterflies in the belly, the whole bit. I sent an emergency messenger out to tell Chris we had to scrap the homemade vows. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to say "I do,” let alone the rest of it.
My mom told me later that she couldn’t tell how nervous I was. Chris told me later how relieved he was to hear I wanted to toss the custom vows. We got through the ceremony all right, but everyone giggled when Chris tried to put my ring on the wrong hand.
The whole ceremony took less than 10 minutes from “good evening” to "you may kiss the bride.” That's the way to do it. The guests don't want to watch you hold hands and kiss all night long, they want to eat! Fortunately, the buffet was ready even before we began.
After the ceremony on the back porch, our 60 guests returned to the house to eat, chat and catch up. Chris and I didn’t get to eat anything because we were busy being congratulated and hugged by everyone who attended.
Before we knew it, it was time to cut the cake. Everyone gathered around.
Chris had a surprise planned.
Before we could cut the cake, Chris announced that he had something to say.
Then he took my hand and recited from memory a poem he had written for the wedding, "We're Too Young to Get Married." He had written it on the bus on his way to work in the mornings.
I've got to warn you, it's probably pretty sappy if you're not me or Chris.
You have one last chance to escape.
I'll tell you one thing, though - the guests loved the poem almost as much as I did. I didn't know it was coming, but it worked out beautifully. Free entertainment for everyone!
But if your sweetie is shy, you might do better with that DJ. Chris loves to be the center of attention, and he didn't mind one bit saying mushy stuff in front of our friends and family.
I, however, was unable to speak. So it's a good thing I wasn't the one reciting the poem. You should plan for these things if you have a wedding of your own.
The Wedding Party: Chris, Angie, Jordan, Alexandra and Josh
Copyright Angie Brammer 2002 all rights reserved
Last revised March 14, 2002